100 Creatives

100 Creatives 2014: Kaitlyn Stanley, Tattoo Artist

What She Does: Kaitlyn Stanley wanted to do two things with her life. She wanted to draw, and she wanted to hurt people. Luckily, she stumbled into one of the very few professions in the world that will allow you to legally do both of those things simultaneously when she started working as a tattoo artist. She began her apprenticeship in 2009 and has been working hard to hone her craft ever since at SOS Tattoos in Pearland.

Her work tends towards the more realistic, specializing in portraits and anatomically correct representations more than fantastic elements. As she's still developing her own style as an artist, she currently feels more comfortable in the regular world artistically.

Why She Likes It: "I am in this industry to make people happy, to give someone a piece of art they can enjoy that means something to them. As far as the best piece I've ever done, I could never pick... I want every tattoo to be better than the last, I want to continue to grow and progress. But I'd have to say my favorite tattoo I've ever done was probably my first. I was so excited and anxious, and it turned out better than I had imagined. I had designed it all myself from start to finish and just seeing something on someone's skin that I had done was such a thrill. It wasn't perfect, because nothing ever is, but I was proud of it."

What Inspires Her: Everything. Literally, everything. Stanley is an idea magpie who draws from everything around her for tattooing inspiration. Her biggest source is, appropriately, other tattoos that she sees out and about in the world that spark ideas for her.

If Not Here, Then Where: "People always try to tell me horror stories when I say this, but I would move to New Orleans in a heartbeat if Texas wasn't so freaking awesome. It's an inspiring place for all kinds of art. I feel tremendously drawn to the culture and atmosphere of New Orleans."

If Not This, Then What: Outside of drawing, Stanley's other artistic passion is actually sculpting. She doesn't pursue it very heavily as it is a lot easier to make a living as a tattoo artist, but in many ways she actually prefers sculpting as an outlet.

What's Next: "Learning, every day. Trying to absorb as much knowledge and gain as much experience as possible. I want to strive to be the best I can be at my craft. I know I'll never be satisfied with myself and my skill level, because I want perfection. But as long as I can give people some badass tattoos along the way and experience their happiness and appreciation, then it's all worth it."

More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner